Verse 48 of Surat Al-Ma’dah: Meaning and Concept

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), states the following: “Allah Almighty states in the verses 44: 50 in Surat Al-Ma’dah that human beings should live by Allah’s Rules in their lives. Those who do not govern their lives according to Allah’s Rules are Kafirs or non-believers, Fasiq or rebellious and Zalim or wrongdoers.
In addition, He Almighty mentioned that He gave the Torah to the Children of Israel for their guidance but they did not follow its rules properly. He sent the Injil or the Gospel to Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him), but the people of Injil did not take care of it. Now, He Almighty has sent the Qur’an.
The basic points that the verse 48 of Surat Al-Ma’dah gives are as follows:
The Qur’an is the Final revelation of Allah. It contains basically the same message that was given before through other Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all). It confirms whatever is true in previous scriptures and it is a confirmation of the prophecies told in those scriptures about the coming of Allah’s Final Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
It stands to reason that all Allah’s Prophets and their revealed Books gave the message of Tawhid (i.e. there is only one God, and all forms of worships should be directed to Him and Him alone.), although they differed in some laws and rules or Shir’ah wa Minhaj.
The Qur’an is a complete and a comprehensive book. Muslims should live by its message and should not follow any other incomplete and unauthentic messages in which other people’s vain desires or Ahwaa’ have infiltrated.
If Allah had willed, He would have forced all people to accept the message of the Qur’an, but He has given them the freedom to choose by their own will. So you Muslims continue doing the good deeds and are good examples among the people. Your deeds must be better than others. Do not argue or dispute too much with others. You shall all return to Allah and He will make the final judgment between all of you.
The Islamic position about non-Muslims is that they should recognize Allah’s Tawhid and Prophet Muhammad as Allah’s final Prophet for them. They should accept Islam to live happily and successfully in this world and to be saved in the Hereafter. It is Muslims’ duty to give them this message clearly, but without any coercion or intolerance. If others accept this message, then it is good for them. However, if they do not accept, Muslims should still treat them with kindness and gentleness and leave the final judgment to Allah.
In our enthusiasm for Da’wah we should not be intolerant and aggressive towards others, but in our politeness and civility we should also not give up our mission and message. We should not be intimidated to become quiet, and we should not feel shy to tell the truth. We must know that Islam is Allah’s Way for salvation.
Islamic message is unique, authentic and divine. Islam is for the whole world and all people are invited to accept this message. It is our duty to give this message of Allah in the most beautiful and effective manner. We should be the witnesses of Allah to the world not only by our words, but also by our deeds to all human beings.”